Author Topic: what is the max hard drive size i can have under windows 95?  (Read 8488 times)

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Offline chrisNova777

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what is the max hard drive size i can have under windows 95?
« on: September 01, 2014, 02:33:36 AM »

Short answer Somewhere between 504 MB and 46 TB.

 Long answer Size limitations are based on a combination of the BIOS, file system, and tools used to create / manage the file systems. Most versions of Windows rely on the BIOS for accessing the hard drive. If the BIOS is unable to address the full capacity of the drive (for various reasons), Windows won't be able to use it either. 504 MB is the lowest barrier you are likely to find on a computer with Windows 95; the barrier was overcome after mid-1994. Other BIOS barriers that may pose an issue are:

    The 4096 cylinder (1.97 GB) barrier - was overcome after 1996
    The 6322 cylinder barrier (very uncommon).
    The Int13h (7.88 GB) barrier - very common; a BIOS upgrade may be available
    The 65536 cylinder (31.5 GB) barrier - fixed by June 1999
    The ATA28 (128 GB) barrier - found in most systems before 2002.

BIOS updates or an add-on disk controller may be available to work around these BIOS barriers.

The other important barrier is the file system. FAT16 is limited to an approximately 2 GB partition size. You can have up to three primary partitions and one extended partition on a hard drive. While there is no official limit to the number of logical partitions you can have, you can only have a maximum of 26 drives/partitions usable in Windows 95. With A: and B: being reserved for the floppy drives, and D: probably being used by the CD-ROM drive, that's a maximum of 23 * 2 GB, or 46 GB of space being usable with FAT16.

FAT32 is available for Windows 95, but only in OEM releases OSR2 and later. With FAT32, the partition limit is raised to 2 TB. 23 * 2 TB = 46 TB. However, the generic IDE driver in Windows 95 isn't capable of accessing above 128 GB, even if the BIOS can. There is a shareware driver that should be capable; some motherboards may also have a specific driver.

One final issue is that most of the tools included with Windows 95 simply won't work above 32 GB disks. ScanDisk, Disk Defragmenter, and FDISK won't work. You can either use third-party utilities, or copy them from Windows 98/ME.

if you are just interested in peace of mind, without the homework, i would reccomend using a DOM (disk on module) IDE module or a compact flast/SD card with IDE adapter; 16gb or 32gb in size; this is the appropriate size + will give best compatibility + performance - partition the drive, make the first partition 2gb in size and format it as your system drive using FAT16, then you can create a single partition for the remainder of the space, and format it as FAT32 and use that to store your apps + programs + data. install win95 to the FAT16 drive. you can also create dual boot for running win95 + win98se this way.. installing win98se to the 2nd fat32 partition.

click here
if you are using FAT16:
stay under 2GB mark for your partition size

if you are using FAT32:
8gb | 16 gb | 24gb | 32gb
any size  should be more than great
but i would go for 16gb model myself. 16gb is plenty for Win95.. noone had 16gb drives back in the days of win95.. even 8gb is way way more than most people would have had access to back n those days 1gb was a TON of space.. i think most hard drives were only around 500mb or 800mb in size at that time

just make sure its 40pins, the 44pin versions are for the ide interface found in laptops from 2002-2005
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 12:14:08 AM by chrisNova777 »